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Nick Meakin

Head of Sport at The Playbook

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Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:

Andy Sutherden during my stint at H+K. Napoleonic command of the room and the experience and expertise to back it up.


Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours): P&G’s ‘Thank You Mum’ was brilliant for its message and also it’s longevity, but I’d have to say Paddy Power’s more recent ‘Our Shirt’ campaign because it’s an concept that’s come up in many brainstorms without anyone quite figuring out how to make it work properly. Classic PP in it’s execution and impact.


Best agency (that isn’t yours):

M&C Sport and Entertainment continue to set the bar year-after-year but I’ve been very impressed watching the recent evolution of Dark Horses into a business with strong creative and culture at its heart.

Best young industry talent:

My previous colleague Nico Heemskerk who joined us an intern three years ago fresh out of uni and is now making a huge impact working at INEOS, firstly on 1:59 and now INEOS Team GB.


Best sporting event attended:

The Cricket World Cup Final 2019- for obvious reasons as a lifelong cricket fan. But made even more impactful due to my close working relationship with the ECB and the transformational impact it will have on getting more people involved in cricket.


Best sporting event on TV:

The Olympics on BBC.

I find it remarkable every two years how its coverage sucks you in and you end up putting your life on hold just so you can watch the curling qualifying rounds or the steeplechase heats.


Best brand ambassador:

David Beckham and adidas. Despite the fact he hasn’t kicked a ball professionally for years, he’s still the best marketing asset they’ve got.

Best industry event or conference:

The SIAs- particularly as this year we’re very proudly nominated for Young Agency of the Year.

Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business.

Any Given Sunday - because it mixes Hollywood glamour and razor sharp script writing with the brash, over-the-top sporting brilliance of the NFL.

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Best book recommendation:

A Million Little Pieces - by James Frey


Best bar or pub:

The Dove on the river near Hammersmith Bridge

Best restaurant:

River Café (also near Hammersmith Bridge). Great setting, service and staff, but most importantly incredible food cooked as it should be

Best restaurant:

River Café (also near Hammersmith Bridge). Great setting, service and staff, but most importantly incredible food cooked as it should be


Best influence on your career:

Mark Whittle at the FA. Despite having one of the hardest jobs in world sport looking after Fabio Capello he still found time to give me advice and guidance when I was very wet behind the ears (and out of my depth managing the comms for Wembley Stadium).


Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6): From a sporting point of view, it’d have to be: Ed Moses: how did he maintain his 9 year 9 month and 9 day unbeaten run?  Jess Ennis: what did it feel like to be the real superstar of 2012?

Muhammad Ali: who actually was the greatest? Lance Armstrong: what really happened on the Tour?

Megan Rapinoe: is there a more better sporting personality in world sport?

Billy Monger: how did he have the mindset to carry on racing after his accident? Superstar in the making


Best job in the sport business?

Non-exec chairman of [add in sport / organisation].  A few board meetings a year but even days watching sporting brilliance…the dream!


Best professional regret:

Not knowing what I know now, when I was younger!


Best skill you most covet:

Unrelenting creativity. Some people can come up with the occasional good idea but very few can produce creative magic on a regular basis.


Best trait you admire in others:

A desire to be better and improve.


Best overrated virtue:

Calmness and consistency.


Best ambition:

To continue to make a decent living from working with some of the best clients and staff in sport…while occasionally getting to be part of great sporting moments at the same time. (And it’s not really a proper job anyway!)

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